Thanks for your reply, Nica.
I won't allow the fact that I've waited a year for a reply on this issue (and eventually got one only by all-but-demanding it in public) to prevent my saying how welcome it is: I think the forum’s made a good decision, there; I'm grateful for it and others will be, too.
There are only two small points on which I wish to respond further.
The first relates to the smiley.
I didn't say it was a "default" smiley.
On the contrary, I actually specified that it was from the Clicksmilies site (and therefore clearly an add-on).
So it's not actually "contrary to what I said" at all.
Not so, Nica: not a "raised middle finger". (Surely you know me better than to imagine that?).
It was a little grinning smiley of someone pointing upwards (as in "to a post above, to which I referred"!) with each hand.
Not only was it entirely innocent, but it was also one I've posted here before without giving any offence to anyone.
If you'd like me to, I'm happy to send it to you in a private message so that you can see for yourself (and I'm sure you'll be able to confirm with the moderator concerned, who sent me the "warning", that I'm sending you the same one).
Please let me know either here or privately, if you'd like me to do that.
But either way, I'm requesting, in the circumstances, that the infraction should formally be set aside, please. It was absolutely unwarranted.
My feeling at the time was (and - I'll be honest, here - still is) that I was being given a warning because I'm seen as a thorn in the moderators' flesh, by the fact that I continue to report spam, to send messages about it when my reports are ignored, and to start threads like this when all else fails.
I have an additional reason for thinking that, too: an entirely innocent, off-topic thread I started and to which I was the principle contributor (the "art-work" thread, in this section of the forum), which Pipstradamus himself gave me permission to post when I took the trouble to ask before starting it, was removed, thus further enhancing the very strong and increasing impression that the forum was continuing to delete my posts while leaving those of spammers on the board. We both know that I’m also far from the first member to make this observation. Given the large number of previous occasions on which Pipstradamus has acknowledged how unfortunate and regrettable that has been, I'm sure you can appreciate how disappointing it is when the same things happen over and over again, can't you, Nica?
I sent a private message to Pipstradamus asking (perfectly politely, needless to say) why the thread he himself had given me permission to post had disappeared.
My message was ignored, with no acknowledgement - let alone a reply.
I'm used to that: sadly, it's a very common staff (lack of) response to private messages. But I’m still complaining about it, as you see. And I'll continue to, as well, if the forum continues to treat its longstanding contributors in that way. Just so we’re all clear about that.
So, the "TLDR version": since you've now kindly welcomed further feedback from me, this is my further feedback: first, congratulations on and thanks for your eventual decision to enforce the rules; secondly, please rescind the unjustified infraction I was given; thirdly, please let me know why my art-work thread has been removed, and re-instate it. Thank you very much in advance,